Irish Social Club to celebrate 70th year anniversary

Non-profit organization, located at 119 Park Street in West Roxbury and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on June 27, 1945, has a long and impressive history of promoting Irish music, culture, dance, language, travel, charitable works and promotion of Irish products.

The Irish Social Club of Boston, located at 119 Park Street in West Roxbury, has announced the 70th Anniversary of its incorporation and the 35th year at their Park Street home. These milestones will be commemorated at the 70th Platinum Anniversary Celebration on Saturday evening, June 27, 2015. Doors open at 7pm and admission is only $20. Internationally acclaimed singers Andy Cooney, one of the New York Tenors, along with Deirdre Reilly, an award winning Irish and American Country singer will highlight the music for the evening. The Heavey-Quinn School of Irish Dance will also perform. A raffle is being held offering a first prize of four premium tickets for a U2 Concert in Boston in July and a $500 lottery board for second prize.

The Irish Social Club, Inc. of Boston was formed in 1945 to aid and foster the study of Gaelic language, literature and traditions of Ireland and to preserve Irish music, customs, dance, art, crafts and ideals. From humble beginnings at the Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, the club moved to Metropolitan Hall in Forest Hills, Jamaica Plain and in the mid 1960’s, to its own building in Dorchester. Under the leadership of President and founder Mary Concannon, the club reached incredible heights, boasting over 13,000 members at that time.

In 1975, that building was sold and from 1975 to April 1980, facilities were rented from the T.J. Roberts American Legion Post in West Roxbury. During this period, the club located, purchased and renovated 119 Park Street in West Roxbury, the home of the Irish Social Club since the dedication in May of 1980.

The Irish Social Club abruptly closed in April 2012, much to the shock of its then current members and the greater community. The club found itself facing major repairs and installations that some of the directors believed were beyond their reach to complete. With the help of so many great people including members and friends, unions, the trades, elected officials, local businesses, and volunteers, the club did reopen and under the leadership of newly elected President, Mary Maloney and her officers and trustees, the Irish Social Club got back on its feet.

The kick off of the 70th Anniversary year will allow the club to feature the diversity of Irish music and arts throughout the year while seeking support of the Irish and greater communities to help them continue to restore the building and preserve it for generations to come. Of major urgency is the refurbishing of the dance floor.

The Irish Social Club is actively seeking new members and donations of money, time and talents to bring the building to the very best condition possible. Donations can be made to the Irish Social Club and mailed to 119 Park Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132 or call 617-327-7306 if you have some ideas or suggestions that may help restore the building or tackle some of their tasks.

Further activities and events planned for the 70th Anniversary include: Thursday, July 30; Emmett O'Hanlon of Celtic Thunder. General admission at 7pm - tickets $30. Sunday, September 13; Ally Harron and Marian Curry. General admission at 7pm - tickets $10. Saturday, September 19; Special Anniversary event.

For more information, please call Mary Mulvey Jacobson, President of the Irish Social Club of Boston at 617-285-3450 or call the club at 617-327-7306.

Boston Creates calls on community engagement for cultural plan

Julie Burros, Boston’s Chief of Arts and Culture, presented an overview of Boston Creates, the City of Boston’s cultural planning process at City Hall last week. At the event she detailed the vision for Boston's Cultural Plan, the core values of the process and an overview of community engagement taking place throughout the summer.

Boston Creates is the umbrella title for a 10-year plan to provide resources for the creative community, while engaging and challenging artists and audiences to articulate priorities for how those resources should be spent. In September 2014, Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed a 15-member steering committee, comprising representatives from City government and the arts. This committee was charged with recommending a cultural planning consultant team and advising the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. The Cultural Plan is expected to be complete in June 2016.

Burros outlined two types of what she refereed to as 'community conversations' that will be taking place over the course of the summer. Volunteer-led neighborhood teams and young leaders in Boston will host both types of conversations. Community conversations are volunteer-led dialogues about arts and culture in the community where small groups of residents gather to talk about arts and culture. It is hoped that the Irish American community as well as the many other diverse ethnic groups in the City will become involved.

"The aim is to find out more about current cultural activities, discover what people enjoy and create a comprehensive cultural plan for each of Boston's neighborhoods" said Burros. Members of the public will have two methods to get involved. "Programmed City Conversations" will be advertised and available for the public to attend. These conversations are scheduled for the first two weeks of July and a City Community Conversations event is scheduled for Saturday, August 1. All information will be available on The second method of involvement is through 'Do-Your-Own Conversation'. Boston Creates will send anyone who is interested in hosting a conversation the tools they need. These can be held anywhere - business and neighborhood association, cafes, at a home or any other venue deemed appropriate.

A further the objective outlined by Boston Creates last week is the establishment of a comprehensive map of Boston’s cultural assets, including its variety of arts organizations, festivals, and public art locations. This is of particular relevance to the Irish American community considering the prominent role that it continues to play in Boston's cultural identity. Members of the public are also invited to engage with the Boston Creates team to fulfill this objective.

For more information, visit Twitter users can engage with the process on social media using #BostonCreates.

South Boston Hockey rink dedicated to Donald F. Higgins

At a special ceremony honoring Donny Higgins, a South Boston man who passed away after a ten month battle with colon cancer took place on June 13, Governor Charlie Baker joined with Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Carol Sanchez, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, State Representative Nick Collins, local officials, and members of the Friends of Donny Higgins Memorial Fund in officially dedicating a street hockey arena in Donny's name.

"The dedication of the Donald F. Higgins Memorial Street Hockey Rink celebrates and memorializes a man who had a vision to better his community," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Donny Higgins was a community leader, a wonderful husband, a loving father, and remained dedicated to his friends and family. Sadly he was taken too soon, but his memory will live on."

Well rooted within his community, Donny Higgins grew up across the street from the Francis L. Murphy Memorial Skating Rink, where he worked as a Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) skate guard. Donny Higgins, who passed away in July 2010 at the age of 37, pushed to transform an underutilized tennis court located behind the ice skating rink into the now popular street hockey arena in South Boston.

To commemorate the dedication, the day featured a full day of family fun, which included a street hockey tournament and cook-out where visitiors came to celebrate the life of Donny Higgins. Donny is survived by his wife Tish, and their four children, Delia, Ronan, Sheamus and Liam.

Milton Music Festival returns this weekend

The festival hosts its third year at Hutchinson’s Field atop of Milton Hill overlooking the beautiful Neponset water basin. The event will take place over two days starting on Saturday, June 27. The action kicks off on Saturday at 4pm with an art display by local artists and activities for children including face painting, arts and crafts and a Touch a Truck area. There will be several hours of music throughout the day including jazz, pop, acapella and dance bands, and the New York City Police Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, America's Oldest and Most Celebrated Police Band. The day will end with a firework display.

Celtic Sunday beginning at 1pm on June 28, will feature many of Boston’s best Irish bands, musicians and vocalists. Among this year’s performers are The Fenian Sons, Erin’s Melody, Pauline Wells, Devri, legendary Dublin Fiddler Patsy Whalen and Mr. Paul Kenny as well as several other prominent Irish performers. Headlining for the day is the internationally renowned Irish group Gaelic Storm - famous for their performance in the 1997 movie Titanic.

Those planning on attending the festival are advised to bring lawn chairs, blankets, sunscreen and bug spray!

More information on this event can be found at